The United States Code of Federal Regulations contains an enumeration of disabling conditions and the clinical criteria that must be demonstrated for each condition. Satisfying these criteria should amount in an award of disability benefits. These impairments are known more colloquially in disability law circles as the “listed impairments”.
To meet the listing criteria for a digestive impairment, the SSA will require clinical and laboratory findings in addition to the diagnosis itself. The SSA will want to see medical records pertaining to imaging studies and reports of endoscopy, operations, and pathology where appropriate. Reports form these procedures offer solid objective evidence not only of a given disorder, but of the severity level.
The SSA looks not only at the presence of the digestive disorder, but also at the progress that has been made in treating the impairment(s). The SSA will consider side effects/ adverse effects of treatment. They will also look at whether or not your disorder meets Social Security’s durational requirements.
In any claim for disability benefits, the disabling condition must be shown to have lasted either 12 months or can be expected to last 12 months or result in death.
Social Security’s digestive disorder listings contain specific criteria for each disorder enumerated. For example, to qualify with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you must have documentation of an endoscopy, medical imaging or biopsy. Your condition must have required hospitalization twice within six months. You may also qualify if two or more of the following complications are present and sufficiently acute: anemia, serum albumin, tender abdominal mass, draining abscess, weight loss of 10 pounds of more, and need for a catheter or supplemental nutrition.
Satisfying the rigid criteria of the “listings” is difficulty for many disability claimants. Meeting the listing criteria is not the only way to demonstrate disability. Even if you do not meet or equal the listing, an individual can be awarded disability benefits based on having a diminished “residual functional capacity” (what you can still do despite your impairment). The specifics of what must be shown to be found disabled in this manner depends on your age, educational background, and past work experience, along with the extent to which your impairment limits you.
In any claim for disability benefits, it is important to remember that working with an experienced Social Security disability law firm can help maximize your chances of a successful claim for disability benefits.